Benzo Detox: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

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Detox from benzos involves withdrawal symptoms that manifest within hours to days after the last dose. The initial withdrawal phase of benzodiazepines detox, lasting a few days, is accompanied by symptoms like anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and insomnia. These arise as the body adapts to the absence of benzos and strives to regain equilibrium (homeostasis).

In the subsequent weeks, withdrawal symptoms intensify, characterized by mood swings, increased anxiety, panic attacks, and physical discomfort. This phase generally endures for a few weeks, although some people may endure these symptoms for longer.

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Following acute withdrawal, mild symptoms may persist intermittently over an extended timeframe. These can encompass lingering anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Termed protracted withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome), these symptoms can endure for many months after discontinuation.

This brief guide to detoxing from benzos shows you how to get off benzos as safely and comfortably as possible – under close medical supervision. You can also discover how to connect with benzo withdrawal treatment in Southern California.

How to Safely Detox from Benzos

Benzo detox should always be approached with caution due to the potential for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Here’s how to safely detox from benzos:

  • Seek medical supervision: Medical detox is highly recommended when withdrawing from benzodiazepines. Physicians can create a gradual tapering schedule to reduce the likelihood and severity of withdrawal symptoms, making the process safer and more manageable.
  • Withdrawal management: Those going through benzo withdrawal should receive 24-hour care, including supervision by healthcare workers and doctors who can attend to any complications that may arise during detox.
  • Taper down under medical guidance: The best approach to quitting benzodiazepines is to taper down the dosage gradually under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Tapering involves taking progressively smaller doses over several weeks or months to minimize risks and reduce the intensity of benzo withdrawal symptoms.
  • Consider detox programs: If you have been using benzos for an extended period or in higher doses than prescribed, consider enrolling in a detox program. These programs provide a structured and safe environment for withdrawal, mitigating potential risks.

Benzo Detox Symptoms

Benzo detox can lead to various withdrawal symptoms, both physical and psychological. Here are common symptoms that individuals may experience during benzo detox:

  • Anxiety: Anxiety is a hallmark symptom of benzo withdrawal. It can range from mild to severe and may include panic attacks.
  • Insomnia: Insomnia and disrupted sleep are common benzo withdrawal symptoms. Sleep disturbances can contribute to overall discomfort during detox.
  • Muscle spasms and tremors: Benzo withdrawal can lead to physical symptoms like muscle spasms and hand tremors. These can be distressing and affect daily functioning.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating is another physical symptom that can occur during benzo detox, often contributing to discomfort and feelings of unease.
  • Headaches: Headaches are a common complaint during withdrawal, and they can range in severity from mild to severe.
  • Heart palpitations: Some people may experience irregular or rapid heartbeats – heart palpitations – during benzo withdrawal.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting can occur, adding to the physical discomfort during detox.
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Benzo Detox Timeline

Here is a typical benzo withdrawal timeline:

Early withdrawal (first few days)

Symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and irritability often appear within hours to a few days after the last benzo dose. This is the initial phase of benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Acute withdrawal (weeks)

The following weeks may bring more intense symptoms, including increased anxiety, mood swings, panic attacks, and physical pain. This phase typically lasts for a few weeks but can last longer.

Protracted withdrawal (months)

After the acute phase, milder symptoms like lingering anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping may persist on and off over an extended period. This is known as protracted withdrawal, and symptoms can last for several months.

Benzo withdrawal should be managed under medical supervision, and the timeline can vary based on factors such as the specific benzo used, dosage, and individual differences.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Treatment

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be a challenging process, and proper treatment is essential to ensure safety and comfort. Undergo withdrawal treatment under medical supervision. Physicians can assess your condition, create a personalized detox plan, and monitor your progress to ensure your safety.

Gradual tapering of benzodiazepine dosage is a common approach. This involves reducing the dose slowly over a period, allowing the body to adjust to decreasing levels of the medication and minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Healthcare professionals may prescribe medications to manage specific withdrawal symptoms. These medications can help alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and other discomforts that may arise during withdrawal.

Emotional support and counseling can be beneficial during benzodiazepine withdrawal. Therapy sessions, support groups, or counseling can help individuals cope with the psychological aspects of withdrawal.

Many people find relief through holistic approaches such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and exercise. These methods can complement medical treatment and promote overall well-being during withdrawal.

Identifying and avoiding triggers that may lead to benzodiazepine use is crucial for long-term recovery. This includes addressing any underlying mental health issues that may have contributed to benzodiazepine dependence.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment should be tailored to individual needs and should always be conducted with the guidance of medical professionals to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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Get a Safe, Medication-Assisted Benzo Detox at California Detox

Whether you have been taking benzos as directed or for non-medical purposes, California Detox can help you recalibrate your life with benzo detox and addiction treatment in Laguna Beach, CA.

Our supervised prescription drug detox program allows you to access medications while your benzo dosage is tapered to mitigate severe withdrawal symptoms. You can also take advantage of clinical and emotional care to help you address cravings for benzos during detox.

Transition directly into ongoing inpatient treatment to unpack the psychological component of addiction to prescription medications with an individualized blend of the following therapies:

Call 949.694.8305 and move beyond benzo addiction.


The duration of benzo detox varies depending on factors like the specific benzo, dosage, and duration of use. It can take a few weeks for physical withdrawal symptoms to subside, but psychological symptoms may persist for months after discontinuation.
Benzo detox can be risky when done at home without medical supervision, especially for individuals with a history of heavy use. Sudden discontinuation can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including life-threatening seizures. It is safer and more comfortable to detox from benzos under medical care.


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